In a first for the district, a member of the transgender community has won elected office during phase two of the UP elections last Thursday.
Shahida Bibi, 43, has been elected as a member of Maguraghona Union Parishad-6 (Council) in Khulna district.
Shahida’s victory was announced on Thursday after she contested a reserved seat for women of wards 4, 5, and 6 under the unionint the second phase of UP polls.
She won by a huge margin of 2,740 votes competing against four female candidates with her symbol Mic.
Shahida, a resident of ward-6 of Dumuria upazila, has been living for a long time in this area after building her own house. Her father Abdur Razaque Morol is a resident of Dakkhin Chuknagar village.
An ecstatic Shahida vowed to change society’s perspective towards the transgender community through her activities after winning.
“I have contested in the poll to ensure the rights for people of our community which I’ll try to attain with my utmost effort,” she said.
"People elected me for this position even though our community is neglected in society. I’m indebted to all who voted for me,” she said.
Shahida also thanked the only transgender voter in the three reserved wards, Moni Mukta, for her constant support and another group of her community who came from different areas on the day of election to show their support.
Meanwhile Moni Mukta said, “This is an achievement is for all of our community as people valued our efforts in the election campaign.”
When asked about future plans, Shahida said she wants to return the love she got from people by doing notable work for the locals.
A guideline was approved in 2013 at cabinet committee for granting Hijra or transgenders state recognition. Following that, in January, 2014, government issued a gazette granting state recognition to the transgender community.
In 2019, the Election Commission decided to enlist third gender as a gender identity in the voter list along with male and female.
Shortly afterwards, the country got its first transgender elected representative, shop owner Pinki Khatun was was elected a councillor in Kotchandpur, Jhenaidah district, also in Khulna division.